After five long round-robin style matches, Group Knockouts have at least reached their final match to determine who will move on to the final sixteen of the World Title Series. As we’ve learned on last week’s show, Gail Kim (along with Matt Hardy and Ethan Carter III) has already qualified to advance to the final elimination rounds.
It’s another “do or die” situation for our remaining Knockouts, as Awesome Kong and Brooke will battle it once more, where the winner will earn three points to her overall score and the other will go home. In this case, the “going home” aspect literally means going home and leaving behind their Impact Wrestling chapter…
For the second week in a row, our Knockouts open the show and after both women make their entrances, the bell sounds off. Kong starts off by chasing after Brooke but Brooke is quick on her feet, ducking through Kong’s initial attack. When Brooke is able to circle behind her larger opponent, she lands a kick and few jumping punches.
This mini offense does little to help Brooke, as Kong eats all of Brooke’s blows and easily overpowers her, grabbing a handful of Brooke’s locks to throw her across the ring!
Kong follows up her tortuous bidding by spotting Brooke’s injured hand and does everything she can to inflict as much to it as possible; twisting it in circles, stepping right on top it and even chopping it down at a turnbuckle.
After enduring so much pain, Brooke decides to give Kong a piece of her mind by flipping the bird in plain sight! Hilarious Brooke! Kong doesn’t take to kindly to Brooke’s hand signal and punishes her with another chop to the injured hand.
It’s a trip to the turnbuckle for Brooke next, as Kong whips her to a corner in the hopes of connecting a running splat but Brooke manages to dodge out the way just in time. Brooke makes the most of Kong’s missed attack by firing kicks to Kong’s midsection and running the ropes to land a running crossbody. The running attack fails when Kong catches Brooke and slams her down to the mat. Standing over Brooke, Kong goes for the cover using one foot but only gets a two count. Just as Kong sets Brooke up for the Implant Buster, Brooke manages to fight back and bring Kong down with a drop toe hold. As Kong lands flat down on the mat, Brooke is quick to apply an inverted headlock.
When the submission hold is broken, Brooke immediately hits Kong with a face crusher and goes for the pin, only to earn a two count. The Impact Zone begins to rally behind Brooke, as she climbs ropes of a turnbuckle. However, before Brooke can even make it to the top tope, Kong gets up and strikes Brooke in the head. She mounts Brooke over her shoulders for a sideways slam.
Kong follows up by running the ropes, looking to crush Brooke with a running splash but Brooke manages to roll out of harm’s way. As Kong tries to catch her breath at a corner following her missed move, Brooke runs in her direction to hit the Butterface Makeover! Brooke goes for the cover but the face crusher finisher isn’t enough to put away Kong, who kicks out at two.
Still determined to win, Brooke bides her time to try to hit Kong with a back suplex but Brooke’s plans get squashed when Kong sidesteps to drop all her weight onto her. Kong ends the match by putting away Brooke with a chokeslam to be the second representative of the Knockouts division to move on in the World Title Series, where she her next match will be an intergender one.
Thoughts: Looking at the current Knockouts division, it was pretty much a given from the get go as to which two Knockouts would have been booked to move on in this tournament. Much like Gail Kim, Awesome Kong also has a very small history of partaking in intergender matches in TNA and is more likely to put on the “believable” match when facing a fellow male counterpart.
My issue with this whole World Title Series formula is that there is shock/surprise value to it, everything just seems to be spinning in a way that it would have even if there wasn’t a Group Knockouts. As I’ve mentioned in the early stages of this World Title Series, perhaps if Jade (who has a tracked history of competing in intergender matches outside TNA) would have taken Madison Rayne’s spot, things would have felt different. More so if, hypothetically speaking, Jade would’ve advance to the final sixteen. Of course, it’s not as though I would’ve expected to see either of these women make it to the end but it’s just the idea of seeing fresh matchups.
As for this Knockouts match, I thought it was a pretty solid one. Awesome Kong stayed in her role as the powerhouse Knockout while Brooke really stepped up in pulling out different methods of taking down Kong to try and score a win. Even if it was a small injury, Brooke’s injured hand helped tell the story of the classic hero trying to overcome the odds against her villainous opponent. Throughout her time in TNA, I’ve seen such a growth in Brooke inside the ring and really broke outside the whole “model” mold. It’s a shame that she is making her exit in the midst of a filler tournament and at a time when the Knockouts division seems to be getting smaller.
Let’s just hope that through this new deal with Pop TV, TNA can enter the new year with a stronger and new direction for their Knockouts division!